Along with wearing a face mask and practicing social distancing, washing your hands throughout the day is one of the best ways you can help prevent the spread of COVID-19. However, constant handwashing can lead to your skin becoming dry, even to the point of it being painful.
In fact, did you know dry, cracked skin can make you more susceptible to picking up unwanted germs? Even more of a reason to take extra good care of your hands.
Here are some ways you can care for your skin before, during and after handwashing.
- Use lukewarm water while washing your hands. This temperature is best for your skin health as well as getting rid of germs. Even if your hands are dry, be sure to continue to wash them. Use soap too and wash them for 20 seconds or more.
- After washing them, don’t dry your hands completely. Patting them dry or letting them air dry is best for your skin.
- Use moisturizer. It is most effective to apply hand cream or ointment while your hands are still damp. Rub it into your fingertips and nails too. The product you use should be fragrance and dye free, contain mineral oil or petrolatum and come in a tube instead of a pump bottle.
But what about when you are using hand sanitizer?
First of all, you should only use hand sanitizer when handwashing is not an option, like when you are on the go. In those cases, make sure you have a travel-sized moisturizer with you as well. After using your hand sanitizer, wait for it to completely dry. Then apply your cream or ointment.
Still have dry, cracked skin on your hands?
If you’ve been trying these methods for a while and your dry hands are still in pain, it is most likely time to reach out to your primary care provider. Some dry skin needs prescription-strength moisturizer to treat it. In other instances, you may be suffering from an undiagnosed skin condition. Whatever the case, your provider will be able to help point you in the right direction.
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